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Five-goal Haaland Crushes Luton As Man City Reach FA Cup Quarter-finals

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Manchester City’s Erling Haaland scored five times as the FA Cup holders ran riot in a 6-2 rout of Luton in the fifth round on Tuesday.

It was the second time Haaland had hit five goals in a single game for City after his heroics in the Champions League last 16 second leg win against RB Leipzig in March 2023.

Aided by Kevin De Bruyne’s trio of assists, Haaland completed his treble inside the first 40 minutes at Kenilworth Road.

Jordan Clark struck twice to briefly reduce Luton’s deficit to just 3-2.

But any Luton hopes of an incredible comeback were ruthlessly erased by Haaland as the Norway striker scored twice more after the interval to send City into the quarter-finals.

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Mateo Kovacic netted to cap City’s second six-goal haul this season after their 6-1 thrashing of Bournemouth in the Premier League in November.

Haaland now has 27 goals in all competitions this season, making a mockery of the critics who took a swipe at him after a misfiring display in a recent draw against Chelsea.

Saluting De Bruyne’s role in his demolition of Luton, Haaland said: “Kevin is massive. It’s a pleasure playing with him. We know what we both want from each other.

“He’s doing what he does best. It clicks well. He’s a smart player.”

On his own form since returning from a foot injury that sidelined him for two months, Haaland added: “I’m getting back to my best. Finally I’m feeling good.

“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s coming, we’re coming. Exciting times ahead. We are ready to attack.”

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: Messi, Haaland And Bonmati Lead Ballon d’Or Nominees

City have won 14 of their last 15 games in all competitions as they try to emulate last season’s Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble.

Haaland and De Bruyne are rounding into form in time for Sunday’s crucial Premier League showdown against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

The only frustration for City was Jack Grealish’s first half injury, the latest setback in a disappointing season for the England winger.

Predatory Haaland –

City needed just three minutes to take the lead this time as Haaland finished off a flowing move.

Matheus Nunes clipped a clever pass to De Bruyne and he picked out Haaland inside the Luton area, where the City striker fired past Tim Krul with ease.

De Bruyne was the provider again in the 18th minute when Haaland bagged his second goal.

Taking Haaland’s lay-off in the halfway line, De Bruyne unfurled a sumptuous pass that sent the Norway star clean through on goal for a typically predatory finish.

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Haaland completed his treble in the 40th minute, accelerating onto yet another sublime De Bruyne assist before dinking a deft finish over Krul from 12 yards.

It was Haaland’s eighth hat-trick for City and his first away from the Etihad since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2022.

Clark reduced the deficit five minutes later with a superb long-range curler that fizzed into the top corner with City keeper Stefan Ortega rooted to the spot.

Ross Barkley came up with a lofted assist the equal of De Bruyne’s earlier gems and Clark took the pass to drill into the roof of the net in the 52nd minute.

But yet again De Bruyne and Haaland proved impossible for Luton to stop.

Kyle Walker’s eye-catching pass with the outside of his foot set De Bruyne free in the area and he unselfishly teed up Haaland for a 55th minute tap in.

Haaland got his fifth three minutes later, taking Bernardo Silva’s pass and shooting low under Krul’s weak attempted save.

Kovacic smashed a 20-yard drive past Krul in the 72nd minute to put a bow on City’s evening to remember.

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20-year-old English Midfielder, Bellingham Wins 2024 Laureus World Sports Breakthrough Award

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Jude Bellingham has been awarded the 2024 Laureus World Sports Breakthrough of the Year prize in recognition of his startling season for Real Madrid and England.

The 20-year-old English midfielder established himself as the Spanish giants’ main man since moving to the club from Borussia Dortmund last summer,

Bellingham, who has a tally of 21 goals produced another starring role in Sunday’s El Clasico victory over Barcelona.

He scored the late winner that secured a 3-2 win over Barcelona.

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Jude Bellingham wins 2024 Laureus World Sports Breakthrough of the Year award

Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic and Aitana Bonmati were the other big winners at the ceremony held in the Galeria de Cristal in Madrid on Monday night.

Djokovic was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record-equalling fifth time after winning the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open to lead the way with 24 grand slam men’s singles titles.

‘I am incredibly honoured to have won my fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award,’ said Djokovic.

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‘I think back to 2012, when I won it for the first time as a 24-year-old. I am very proud to be here 12 years later, reflecting on a year that brought me and my fans a lot of excitement and success.

‘It was thrilling to return to Australia last January and win my 10th title. It is a tournament that is so dear to my heart and set me up for an incredible 12 months.

‘I could not have achieved so much success without an incredible team behind me, and inspirational rivals who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself.’

The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards took place on Monday 22 April in Madrid, celebrating the leading names in sport from across the globe.

 

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Former Arsenal Chairman, Keswick Is Dead

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Former Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick has died at the age of 84.

Keswick, a successful merchant banker, first joined the Gunners board as a director in 2005 before going on to take the mantle of chairman in 2013.

He served in that role until retiring in May 2020, though he maintained an interest in the club.

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A club statement read: “It is with great sadness that the club reports the death of former Chairman, Sir Chips Keswick. A lifelong Arsenal supporter, he was a regular at Highbury after first standing in the boys’ enclosure in 1949 and listed his early heroes as the Compton brothers and Jimmy Logie but, above all, goalkeeper – and later manager – George Swindin, as young Chips was a budding schoolboy keeper himself.

“But it was in the banking industry Sir Chips made his name, where he was a very senior figure for many years, rising to become Chairman of Hambros Bank and also a Director of the Bank of England.

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“It was during his successful banking career that he became good friends with our former Chairman, Peter Hill-Wood – a former Vice-Chairman of Hambros – and Peter recognised that his business acumen, common sense and love of the Gunners would make him an ideal board member at Highbury.”

Former Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick dies at 84

It was during Keswick’s reign as chairman that the Gunners clinched four FA Cups, along with runner-up finishes in the Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup.

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[UPDATED] Mbappe’s PSG Punish 10-man Barca To Reach Champions League Semis

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Kylian Mbappe struck twice as Paris Saint-Germain battled back to beat 10-man Barcelona 4-1 and book a place in the Champions League semi-finals with a 6-4 aggregate triumph on Tuesday.

Raphinha fired Barcelona ahead early on but Ronald Araujo’s 29th-minute red card turned the tide in PSG’s favour, despite the Spanish champions leading by two goals following a 3-2 quarter-final first-leg win.

Ousmane Dembele and Vitinha levelled the tie for PSG and the deadly Mbappe hit a brace to put them into the final four for the first time since 2021.

The French champions have never won the trophy despite huge investment but demonstrated they have the attacking weapons in their squad to do so.

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Five-time winners Barcelona were dreaming of a first semi-final return since 2019 but Araujo’s red card for pulling down the relentless Bradley Barcola undermined their grip on the tie.

PSG coach Luis Enrique, who led Barca to the 2015 Champions League, said he believed his team would turn things around despite never having managed to after a first-leg defeat, and so it proved.

The visitors started with determination and penned Barcelona back in their territory, but it was the hosts who took the lead.

Explosive 16-year-old starlet Lamine Yamal ripped past Nuno Mendes and crossed to the near post where Raphinha turned home despite pressure from Achraf Hakimi.

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It was the Brazilian winger’s third goal of the tie after his brace in Paris.

Robert Lewandowski fired another chance over the top for Barcelona before Barcola tilted the tie in PSG’s favour. The winger was a nightmare for his French compatriot Jules Kounde to handle.

Barcola teed up Mbappe but Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied him well before Araujo was sent off for bringing him down.

The Uruguayan centre-back pulled Barcola back as he burst into the area, leaving Barca with 10 men.

Dembele whizzed the resulting free-kick narrowly over, but soon found the net, as he did in the first leg.

READ ALSO: UCL: Barca Suffer Blow As PSG Make Turnaround Into Semi-finals

The former Barcelona winger struck after 40 minutes from another Barcola cross, which raked across the area to the back post where Dembele was arriving to fire into the roof of the net.

Barcelona sacrificed Yamal for defender Inigo Martinez after Araujo’s red card and it left them with few outlets in attack.

– No escape –

With PSG controlling the game Barcelona soon paid the price for their inability to keep possession.

Vitinha was given far too much space on the edge of the box and he drilled into the bottom corner to put PSG ahead on the night.

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Ilkay Gundogan hit the post at the other end for Barcelona before their coach Xavi was sent off for a show of dissent on the touchline.

The Catalans were losing their heads and Joao Cancelo clumsily fouled Dembele to hand PSG a penalty.

Mbappe, who had been kept quiet in the first leg, hammered it into the top corner for his 40th goal across all competitions.

The striker’s future may lie in Spain, with Real Madrid aiming to sign him in the summer at the end of his contract, and he made no friends in Barcelona by hopping the advertising hoardings and running towards fans to celebrate.

Another member of Barcelona’s backroom staff was dismissed after Gundogan had a penalty appeal waved away and it became clear the hosts had no response.

Mbappe wrapped up the win in the 89th minute after a fine Ter Stegen double save, leaving Barcelona the victims of another bitterly disappointing night in Europe.

AFP

 

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